Professional contacts key to finding jobs, AUS students told

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Web Image: Piqsels

By Apoorva Dudani

UNIVERSITY CITY, SHARJAH – Seventy percent of job opportunities in the market are invisible on online platforms, Yassine Otmani, career services manager at the American University of Sharjah’s Office of Advancement and Alumni, said in a Nov. 11 job search strategy workshop.

According to Otmani, networking with professionals in one’s chosen field is more useful than merely applying for jobs online. Accordingly, he advised AUS students to maintain contacts with professionals who can keep them in mind during recruitment, and to ask them for mentorship, while getting employment support from family, friends and alumni.

He further recommended students identify the occupation that fits them best and continuously develop relevant hard and soft skills. He highlighted that unemployed people should ideally allocate 40 hours a week for job hunting and maintain a positive attitude throughout the possibly “frustrating” process.

Otmani emphasized the importance of students having an online presence on employment-oriented websites such as LinkedIn, and fine-tuning their job search on these platforms so they are notified of new job postings. He said that students should list the companies they wish to work for and prepare a curriculum vitae (CV) and a cover letter for each job opportunity. He suggested posting an updated copy of their CV on desired platforms, adding that it should contain the student’s academic and extracurricular achievements.

Otmani advised students to make their online profiles rich in keywords that recruiters may look for, such as “project management” and “analytical skills.” He also suggested students prepare an electronic portfolio, manage social media and ask for recommendations and endorsements for their profiles.